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General Forge Forums => Publishing => Topic started by: bilros02 on October 30, 2006, 10:30:39 AM



Title: Help with ideas on Advertising
Post by: bilros02 on October 30, 2006, 10:30:39 AM
Hey guys, I need a little advice on how to advertise my game systems on the net. Ive already gotten the manuals for my games written (Two of them anyway), and have found a cheap publisher (Lulu), not only that, but I have my own site for the games too (gaiasagaonline.com). My only problem seems to be lack of interest or the inability to market my games correctly. Im not a businessman, I know close to nothing about how to make sales or any of that sort of thing. Ive tried to post links on tons of forums and message boards attempting to get people interested in my games, but I have little to no traffic on the site and have made no sales whatsoever.

If you can give me any advice, it would be much appreciated, from one gamer to the next. :)

Thanks


Title: Re: Help with ideas on Advertising
Post by: daMoose_Neo on October 30, 2006, 10:43:39 AM
Links and such do nothing. Talking up the game, showing how cool it is by showing how other people react to it and play ut, and just generally talking ABOUT the game (as opposed to saying "Click here, its cool!") will do a lot. The Forge principle here is about the right path for an indie fellow: play sells games. Simple as that. As for advertising venues, do some searches around the site here, you'll find a fair bit of discussion on this subject.


Title: Re: Help with ideas on Advertising
Post by: Ron Edwards on October 31, 2006, 06:09:52 AM
Hi there,

Nate's totally right about real-play + honest posting about it = real sales. That is the core principle of modern successful promotion.

However, there is one sort of linking that can help as well: the mutual version. Rather than plaster your links all over various forums, put links to games you like and think are in the same ballpark as yours on your own site. Show that you respect others' games, and they may be inclined at least to check out yours.

Best, Ron


Title: Re: Help with ideas on Advertising
Post by: Luke on October 31, 2006, 01:22:36 PM
Bilros02,

Hi my name's Luke. I publish a fantasy roleplaying game called The Burning Wheel. I've been in the rpg publishing game for four years now.

I recommend that you take Nate's and Ron's advice about play and posting. Get out to local conventions and game days and promote your game by running it!

I also recommend that you put samples of your games up on line and let people look at them. I also recommend you drop the "best game evar" and "revolutionary!" rhetoric. I know that your game is The Best Game Evar, mine is too. So is Ron's and Nate's. You get my point? In my experience making specious and grandoise claims about your game only puts people off. Tone down the spiel and try and give people some real content to look at.

-Luke


Title: Re: Help with ideas on Advertising
Post by: bilros02 on October 31, 2006, 05:38:13 PM
Alright, thanks a lot guys, your comments have helped. :)


Title: Re: Help with ideas on Advertising
Post by: sean2099 on October 31, 2006, 08:25:57 PM
I hope I am not too late on this one.  I think you are looking at different sub-issues within your question.  What is the reasoning for advertising?  Is it just for general awareness of your game, to get people to buy/play your game, boost traffic to your website, etc?  Some methods will help with different aspects of the above question. 

SEO, mutual link exchanges, etc will help boost traffic to your website and create some general awareness but will not lead to sales by themselves.  Some activities, like the mutual link exchange, will provide a slow but steady stream of traffic.  Others, like writing an article or review for a prominent rpg site will cause a spike in your website hits for 2-3 days and then your hits will return to normal.  At best, you will get someone to your website and then you will have to convince them to go to Lulu (or wherever) and from there, to buy your product.  You can have playtest reviews and honest posting but if you don't place that information in the right areas, then you are not getting the maximum amount of time vs reward for them. 

In other words, the guys are right about playtest and honest posting but there is a bit more work than that, otherwise, INHO, you can get a "Fields of Dreams" aura, where if you post it...they will come.  That is true (somewhat) but there are actions you can take to maximize your chances of having a successful (depending on your goals) publication.

Everything above is mainly getting people to notice you.  I am going to leave out quality of product, supply and demand, and that out.

By the way, what are your publishing goals?  (If you don't mind me asking)

Sean

PS don't forget about posting in forums but don't make that the only source of advertisement.


Title: Re: Help with ideas on Advertising
Post by: rafael on November 01, 2006, 05:40:25 AM
Hey,

After reading the page for your Player's Handbook (http://gaiasagaonline.com/gsone.aspx), I have a few suggestions.  Overall, this game looks really interesting.  But, it's my opinion that if you massage your presentation just a little bit, that could help with your sales.  So --

First, the wall-to-wall green text isn't working for me.  I would recommend shorter bullet points (one line each, taking up no more than half the width of the screen).  That makes them easier to read.  And green text is hard to read -- maybe you could darken it?

Second, the link to Lulu.com is very small.  I'd blow that up.  And move it up, too.  Rather than a link consisting of tiny letters at the bottom of the screen, where it's could be overlooked, I'd move it closer to the top of the page, and use a much larger font (or even a large button).  That way, the potential customer knows where to click in order to make the purchase.

Third, the marketing copy is cool, but your "history of the world" might not be as appealing as, say, a description of the game experience.  What does the player do during gameplay?  Fighting and stuff?  Maybe fighting monsters, taking their loot?  Or talking to people and role-playing and whatnot?  Hit on the major points of the user experience, and maybe include some of the data from the Lulu page.  For instance, you may want to include page count, price, and even post a preview of the cover art.  All of this is more likely to entice someone to look at the Lulu.com page, which brings them one step closer to ordering your book.

Good luck!

-- Rafael